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Speech: “Searches for signals from unknown or poorly known sources”
Alicia M. Sintes.
Invited speaker in “INT Workshop INT-18-71W: Astro-Solids, Dense Matter, and Gravitational Waves.”
As we enter the era of gravitational-wave astronomy, there is renewed focus on the range of astrophysical sources and the information that can be extracted from observations. As the expected signals are weak a detailed understanding of source characteristics is required for detection and interpretation.
In this context, a workshop focused on issues relating to continuous gravitational waves from spinning neutron stars is timely. There are already over 30 LIGO papers presenting searches for, and upper limits on, continuous gravitational-wave signals. However, there has been comparatively little related theoretical work. The basic mechanisms for neutron stars emitting long-lived gravitational wave signals may be well known, but they have not yet been modeled at the level of precision required to support the sensitive searches that are being carried out (e.g. using Einstein@home).
The one week workshop will motivate new theoretical work on continuous gravitational-wave sources and improve the communication between nuclear physicists, gravitational-wave experts, and astrophysicists working on dense matter and compact objects.